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by the scruff of (one's)/its/the neck

By the back of the neck (of a person or animal). My mom was so mad that she grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and hauled me into my room to be grounded. I had to yank the cat out from under the floorboards by the scruff of its neck. The boss took John by the scruff of his neck and warned him never to do something so foolish again.
See also: by, neck, of, scruff

by the scruff of somebody’s/the ˈneck

(hold somebody or an animal) by the back of the neck: The barman took her by the scruff of the neck and threw her out.
See also: by, neck, of, scruff


mod. sloppy; unkempt. Why don’t you clean up this scruff car? It’s—like—grody!


References in periodicals archive ?
Scruff had applied to be a partner in 2014 and has continued to do so over the last two years.
We put Scruff on to the jet ski and he walked around and sat down then I stood him on his back legs.
Further, this article positions Scruff within a broader theoretical reworking of ideas of space and geography in mobile social networking.
But punters who lost their cash on Martin Scruff are entitled to see some retribution being exacted by the authorities on their behalf.
A spokesman for Scruff Productions said: "No acting experience is necessary, but it is vital that the child has the ability to work with direction and act emotions in a natural way.
After five years though I learned to stagger along w/ him so I could keep the pace and maybe catch him by the scruff of his neck when he started to fall.
Chaos, Scruff, Trinity and Brindle have all been vainly searching for a loving home for more than a year.
Also this weekend the Hare & Hounds hosts and DJ Mr Scruff, who will be performing one of his now legendary six-hour sets.
TOP music act Mr Scruff played in front of nearly 2,000 people at an Anglesey festival last night.
HAVING missed the cut for a 3m handicap hurdle at Punchestown yesterday, the former British-trained Martin Scruff looks the likely solution to the 2m6f handicap hurdle (3.
Washington, April 20(ANI): Kim Kardashian has been slammed by Peta after she posted a pic on Twitter holding a black kitten up solely by the scruff of its neck.
But Smail, who shot a 69 on Friday, took the game by the scruff of the neck and bagged five birdies by the 10th hole.
Mr Scruff is a genius and his DJ sets are an education as well as party fuel.